Review – Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

Review Luigis Mansion
Luigi steps out from the shadow of his famous brother, only to once again find himself cast into the shadowy halls of haunted dwellings, where legions of spirits wait to spook the hesitant hero. When the Dark Moon floating over Evershade Valley is stolen, the colorful poltergeists infesting the area begin causing mayhem, prompting Professor E. Gadd to summon Luigi’s assistance in getting his paranormal research back on track.

Rather than tackling one large mansion, Luigi will be transported to several locations, dispatched from the Professor’s bunker via a device that pixelates and transports him through security cameras, ala Tron.

The handheld release offers a stage layout for each area, where Luigi will accomplish small tasks toward recovering the pieces of the Dark Moon hidden within each, which feeds a quicker action based style of game versus a spiraling haunted mystery.

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Review – Lego City Undercover

Review Lego City Undercover
Lego City Undercover serves as my annual reminder not to make up my mind about a game prior to playing it.

Despite a well earned sense of exhaustion from numerous Lego videogames based on popular franchises in recent years, Chase McCain’s mission to save Lego City from seasoned criminal Rex Fury managed to sink its teeth in firmly, until I’d found myself saving said city some thirteen hours later and realized that I’d still only completed 18% of what the entire game has to offer.

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Review – Tomb Raider

Review Tomb Raider
Vegetation reclaims the land around ancient Asian temples. Turrets built during the Second World War rot into the cliffs overlooking ships that lay battered and broken against the rocks, where angry waves warn off any thought of escape. And the diaries of countless inhabitants throughout time are scattered across the ruins of an island rich with a dark history.

While Lara Croft’s first expedition uncovers an island prison run by years of stranded inmates, she also discovers a landscape that abandons the idea of singular globetrotting digs offering a sterile glimpse into frozen pockets of time, instead uncovering a complex web, where the strings of history intertwine around a mystery beating a rhythm of madness heard across the entire island.

And while Lara unearths the pieces to this puzzle, the franchise mirrors her efforts with a dig through the more recent history of the medium. It doesn’t take a gaming archeologist to see the influences running throughout Tomb Raider, particularly the unsteady ground and quick time events that fed Uncharted’s cinematic flow.

But as a student of history, Tomb Raider isn’t looking to simply copy answers during the test.

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Demo Report – Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan

Demo Report Etrian Odyssey IV
I love milkshakes.

I know they’re not necessarily the healthiest treat option available to me, so I try not to drink them too often. However, when I get my hands on one, I am relentless and guzzle it up, usually to the point that my wife has to tell me to stop making disgusting sounds as I suck the straw like an addict trying to get just one last tiny hit from his crack pipe.

The Etrian Odyssey IV demo is kind of like that.

I have tasted every last bit of what it has to offer and am starving for more. Atlus was generous to provide such a meaty demo, but in a sense, they were also a little cruel. If anyone takes the time needed to build a party of adventurers, traverse through and map out every square inch of the available labyrinths, level up their characters to the max that is allotted in the demo, and complete all offered quests, they are going to find it very hard to wait a couple more weeks to continue their journey into all that Etrian Odyssey IV has to offer.

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Review – The Cave

Review The Cave
A sentient cave awaits those that seek to fulfill their greatest desires, which for the purposes of Ron Gilbert’s collaboration with Double Fine, attracts seven individuals for players to choose from. Actually one of those is two people, so I guess that would be eight, but anyway…

Stirring memories of 1987’s Maniac Mansion, players will assemble a party of three from the cast before embarking into the dark bowels of The Cave. But where that same choice in Maniac Mansion offered the potential for different endings, choosing your party here instead determines the areas players will encounter during their journey.

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The View From Primordia

Review Primordia
The world did not come to an end last Friday, but odds are that one day, our species will be wiped off the face of the planet, and we will be survived by naught but the machines we made. That reminds me – Gamesugar wishes you and yours a merry Christmas and the happiest of new years!

Anyway, Primordia is an old-school point and click adventure game that imagines such a scenario, wherein robots of various levels of technological sophistication exist in a post-human society where man takes the role of divine creator whose existence is disputed.

What truths will be revealed in this land of rust and light about the time before robot?

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Demo Report – Rayman Legends

Demo Report Rayman Legends
Ubisoft’s demo for the Wii U exclusive Rayman Legends has finally arrived via the eShop – I suspect if you’re a Wii U owner you’re all over that, and if not, you should be.

The short demo offers access to three separate stages, which serves up three distinct flavors of play evolving from last year’s multiplatform rebirth powered by Ubisoft’s sexy little engine that can – so long as can involves making the screen pop with organic flow and crazed character creations.

While Toad Story serves up a more traditional Rayman platforming area, Teensies in Trouble introduces players to the idea of using the gamepad to aid the on-screen character, which in single-player mode is controlled by AI, with the player moving platforms, slicing ropes, and tickling large enemies to pave the way forward.

The entire demo is stolen by Castle Rock in the end though, which takes the speed run formula of Origins and creates a rock themed slide through a stage where the rhythm of the music syncs to the actions on screen. There’s the strangest bit of Muppets vibe to the play of this stage, and aside from telling you that it left me grinning like an idiot, it might be entirely easier to offer up video, which you can catch below.

Of course, you could also boot up ye olde Wii U and sample the offering for yourself – and then, like come back and let me know what you think.

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